Web hosting can be identified as a business that came into life with the emergence of the Internet and World Wide Web. Web hosting is the service of providing space on a server that would allow individuals and organizations to have their own websites that can be accessed via the World Wide Web”. Web hosts can either be companies or individuals that provide space on a computer sever for use by their clients. They also provide the required internet connectivity. Any person that is interested in starting a web hosting business should identify that it’s a complex area and therefore, would have to satisfy a higher range of requirements.
It's often quite difficult to justify on a fixed set of web hosting requirements, however among all the factors, data transfer (bandwidth) and disk space can be identified as the most important factors for the success of any web hosting service. Higher space would give you the ability to provide hosting facilities to many clients and this would bring in more income. Further if you can obtain adequate finance then it would also be possible for you to increase the capacity and provide e-mail facilities to your clients, which would be an effective strategy in attracting more and more clients to your server.
Further if you are planning on providing hosting facilities to more graphic, audio/video oriented websites then the capacity requirements would have to be further increased. While identifying the current requirements, it would always be important to have additional space available to facilitate future growth. While disk space is an important element, some emphasis should also be given to the area of bandwidth. More inward traffic (visitors) to the web sites you host would require you to have a higher bandwidth web sever to make the data transfers more quick and efficient.
In all the above circumstances the main challenge would be to update/upgrade the facilities as demand increases. Sever facilities and other information technology related equipment could add up to a very high amount of expenditure so additional finance availability would be vital. If you are unable to keep the facilities up to market standards, then the growth potential of your web hosting service would be less and clients might get attracted by the facilities provide by other competitors in the market.
Apart from the factors described above, to maintain success in the web hosting service, emphasis on the following factors would also be very vital. These are some of the services that a typical client might expect from a web hosting company.
- Reliability – this evaluates the reliability of the equipment used by the Web Hosting Company and the availability of qualified technicians. Further this could also include the ability and financial stability of the web hosting company to survive in the long run.
- Minimum downtime - downtime occurs due to breakdowns and other server inefficiencies. Therefore it’s important to keep them to a minimum as possible.
- Personal support – this involves answering the questions of the clients regarding the web hosting related matters.
- Availability of multiple domains per account
- Low service charge and discounts
Since this is an area of IT, it would be very important that you have a good knowledge about computer related applications and computer hardware. Even though web-hosting doesn’t require you to have a degree, possession of a degree on IT, networking, etc would be ideal. Further skills on networking, customer support and business management would also be very useful in the management of the business.
Having discussed the requirements, qualifications and the process of web hosting, it’s worth mentioning again that availability of finance is the most vital factor in the business of web hosting. This is mainly due to the higher price of technological related products. However you can always start small and then improve the business using the return it generates. But this exposes you to the risk being a weak player among other competing web-hosting firms. The best option would be to have a proper business plan so that you might get the chance of obtaining required finance from a bank or any other financial institution.
Increase in the use of Internet for marketing and customer support has made it an essential factor that organizations have their own web sites. This requires them to obtain the services of web hosting companies. Taking into consideration the number of websites created daily, its evident that web hosting is one service industry with very high demand and return. This has crated the opportunity for any individual, who satisfies the discussed criteria, to go and set up their own Web Hosting business and gain more than satisfactory level of returns.